Haredi "extremists' attack little children, chasing them down the street, spitting on them, calling them "whores." They stone police and the media. They stone a Modern Orthodox girls' grade school. The stone a Modern Orthodox little boy. They harass women on public buses. And haredi rabbinic leaders in Israel and the US were silent until this violence became the number one story in Israel and a major story worldwide, and until this violence threatened to lead to a reduction in haredi political power in Israel.
Once this story dominated Israel's airwaves and made the front pages of major Western newspapers, a small number of haredi rabbinic leaders condemned the violence. But with the exception of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the others couched that condemnation with much longer attacks on the media and the government, and framed the media coverage as persecution of haredim.
But the truth is clear.
The few haredi condemnations have been issued as reactions to the media coverage of the haredi violence against children and women itself, not as reactions to the violence itself.
And that is very significant.
If rabbis or rabbinic organizations cannot condemn violence against children and women for its own sake, they are saying those children and women do not deserve protection.
Their condemnations, as few and as late as they are, are all about protecting their own communities from the fallout this violence may bring, not about stopping the violence itself or protecting those little children and women.
And let us not forget that major Ashkenazi haredi rabbis in Israel have not condemned the violence at all.
This doesn't mean they actually support it, although they do support the goals of those using that violence to terrorize children and women when it comes to this.
But it does mean that their silence matters, and that this silence in the face of terror committed against women and children should never be forgotten.